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Mister Miracle: The Great Escape: 02/17/22
Mister Miracle: The Great Escape by Varian Johnson and Daniel Isles (Illustrator) features a 1970s DC hero in his pre-hero backstory. All I know of him going into this book is that Big Barda, whom he later marries, is among the infamous fridged loved ones, and thus inspired The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente (2017).
But this is the before times. Barda is the new head of the Furies, there to keep Scott Free under control at Goodness Academy. The school is part of a hellscape on a dystopian, war ravaged planet. Scott has been working on a plan to escape to earth, in particular to save the daughter of his mentor, and if he can pull it off, his closest friends.
The set up of a need for immediate escape, the high stakes danger, a prophesy, and a cast of characters with varying level of trustworthiness creates the narrative environment for the sort of caper Varian Johnson has proven he can write. As a standalone it's a quick page-turner. It's just a pity to know how things will turn out, especially given how interesting and nuanced Johnson has made the early friendship between Scott and Barda.